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"Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold": Folklore Debunked

"Starve a Fever, Feed a Cold": Folklore Debunked

I'm sure you all have heard the saying "Starve a fever, but feed a cold." It goes through my head every time I take my daughter's temperature.

Well, I researched it and it is SO not true and public health officials have been working for years to debunk the age old maxim.

According to Straight Dope the saying dates all the way back to 1574. At least the "starve a fever part", no one is sure when the second half was added.

There seems to be no scientific evidence that supports fasting as a cure for a fever. When running a fever, it is best not to stress the body by not eating. Chances are high (sorry for the pun) rich foods will have no real appeal if you're feverish. Stick to simple broths and toast.

If you have a cold there is nothing wrong with eating, but you just might not be able to taste it.

Join The Conversation
baltimoregal baltimoregal 10 years
Spices are definitely good for a cold. Also drinking lots of water to flush out all the guck in your system- so many medicines also have the side effect of drying you out, and lots of soups and crackers are overly salty. I'll post the recipe I have for "cold-busting broth" (a souped-up, spiced up Asian noodle broth) soon. If it doesn't work- they need to see a doctor! BaltimoreGal
Imabeliever Imabeliever 10 years
What's funny is I debated for years if they were refering to food or staying warm..I am an idiot. Anyways.. I heard on a morning program that one of the best things to eat to get over a colfd is pizza. Anyone else hear that? Something to do with the tomato and oregano. And since they deliever win.
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